Recipe: Penne Pasta with Creamy Vodka Sauce

“I have an Italian colleague that I owe this whole recipe to.”


Who’s ready to talk pasta? And vodka sauce? And ground sausage? Because those are kind of three things that make an amazing combo, and I’m about to share one bangin’ recipe with you all.


  1. 1 tablespoon butter/olive oil
  2. 3-6 cloves of garlic (depending on your taste for garlic)
  3. 1 pint heavy whipping cream
  4. 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste (also depending on your taste)
  5. salt and pepper


  1. pasta of your choosing – I use 8-10 oz. of penne
  2. meat of your choosing – I use 1 lb. ground sausage (but I’ve heard shrimp is an excellent choice as well)

Brown your sausage first, and let it sit on low while you prepare the sauce.


Start by mincing your garlic. Heat the 1 tablespoon of butter/olive oil over medium heat for about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic. Stir consistently so that the garlic is cooking evenly and preventing it from burning. Once the garlic has softened, add the pint of heavy whipping cream and turn the heat up to medium-high. Bring this to a boil and then turn down the heat so that cream continues to simmer.

*In the meantime, start cooking that pasta.


Cream will start to thicken after 4-5 minutes, but feel free to cook it longer if it has not reached your desired consistency. Once you are happy with it, start adding 1 tablespoon of tomato paste at a time and taste test until you like the mixture. I end up adding 3 tablespoons because I like the way it tastes – but it’s really up to you!

Add the sauce and meat to your pot and stir it all up.

And voila! A delicious meal for any pasta-lover. I make caesar salad and garlic bread on the side to complete the dish, and usually have to go back for seconds. Enjoy!


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Blue Apron Meal: Pesto Pasta and Butter Lettuce

“This was a little underwhelming; it looked pretty though.”


I wish I were more excited to write this post! It was the only pasta meal I ordered when choosing my three free meals from Blue Apron as a courtesy of one of my best friends. I loooove anything and everything pasta-related, and was really looking forward to a good homemade pesto sauce and a tossed salad combining fresh greens and chopped almonds.

Alas, it didn’t really measure up to expectations. If you missed my first Blue Apron post, you can read about the amazing meal we prepared of chicken meatballs and a sarda pasta. That one takes the cake as far as I’m concerned.

Back to the pesto pasta dish…

First you are to clean and prepare your fresh vegetables and the lemon.

The hardest part was probably chopping the almonds – they fly everywhere! Make sure you have a broom on deck. Next, peel the yellow part of the lemon with a grater, and slice the carrots a similar way. Then you will have to quarter and deseed your lemon. Next you need to sauté the greens!

When these finish cooking, you can start preparing the dressing and pesto sauce. The pesto sauce was so easy I’m almost skeptical. Though that could be the reason it lacked taste. You take the cooked arugula greens and chop them on a cutting board once they’ve cooled down. Then you transfer the greens to a small bowl and whisk around with some olive oil, creating a paste.
To me, this had no taste. Maybe I didn’t add enough salt and pepper, but considering it was already seasoned with red pepper, green garlic and lemon zest I figured that would suffice.


You can find the recipe online here, but I also took a picture of the recipe sheets below!

So that was this dish! Although this dish was a letdown, I hope this still proved to be helpful. I am a HUGE fan of Blue Apron thus far, and will be soon writing a post about the delightful catfish and rice I made last night.

I just wish there were more taste to the pesto pasta, and less of a “cream cheesy” taste to the salad. Just not my cup of tea – that’s all!

Please let me know if you’ve tried this service before! I’d be so interested to see if anyone else finds it worth the $$, or whether there is something better I should look into.

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